Cherry Almond Broccoli Salad
A fast and easy potluck salad that is a total crowd pleaser! Crunchy almonds and fresh sweet cherries mix with broccoli, peas and sweet onion in a light yogurt/mayo dressing.
We had a little rib fest at work last week. My company bought the ribs, 5 people volunteered to cook them (including me) and others were encouraged to bring sides or desserts. Now, I know, I did my share of cooking by cooking up the ribs, but because I wanted to be sure there was a salad there, I decided I should bring salad too.
If you’re curious what I did with the ribs, I sprinkled them with a little smoke seasoning, then gave them a good tasty brown sugar chipotle rub, and then slow-baked them in the oven in foil packets. I only had 3 racks of ribs to do (since the ribs came in packs of 3, we couldn’t divide them evenly amongst the five of us), which was lucky because my oven didn’t have enough room for 6 racks. I threw in some chicken too, since I had some chicken legs in the fridge that needed cooking. See my oven-baked ribs recipe for the basic concept. I kicked up the chipotle to 1 Tablespoon in the rub this time and they turned out reaaaaallly tasty, and fall-off-the-bone tender too. I made some awesome barbecue sauce to go on them, too (recipe coming soon). They got rave reviews at the rib fest, so I was very happy.
For the salad, I really wanted something crowd-pleasing and sometimes green salads don’t go over so well, so I decided to go with a broccoli salad, even though I didn’t have any fresh broccoli on hand. I used frozen broccoli and that worked out just fine, since I made the salad right before rib-time. The idea for the cherries just popped into my mind when I discovered a forgotten bag of fresh cherries in my fruit drawer that I had purchased on a whim but hadn’t eaten yet. Plus I had some dried cherries in my cupboard too, so I threw those in as well. The dried ones seemed a little TOO dry, so I plumped them up by soaking them in wine before adding to the salad.
It was everything I wanted it to be and more–it disappeared almost as fast as my tender, fall-apart ribs. One of my coworkers told me he loved this salad and he doesn’t even like broccoli. I was glad that I grabbed some right away or I wouldn’t have even gotten any!
- 1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup plain non fat yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- a pinch of chipotle powder
- 3 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets
- 1 cup frozen sweet peas
- 1 cup pitted, chopped fresh cherries
- 3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion, soaked in water
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, soaked in wine
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
- Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and set aside.
- If the broccoli is frozen, soak it with the peas in water until thawed. Soak the onion in water for 15 minutes as well, to crisp it up. Strain the water from the veggies, then toss with the cherries and the dressing.
- Just before serving, stir in the almonds, reserving a few for the top of the salad. Top with a few chopped, pitted cherries for garnish. Serve and enjoy!
You can make this salad ahead of time, but use fresh broccoli florets, not frozen. Toss in the almonds just before serving so they don't get soggy.
For a gluten free salad, make sure you use gluten free mayonnaise. If you are lactose intolerant, you can substitute vegan mayo for the yogurt and regular mayo.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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